Smackdown moving to USA Network in new five-year deal
WWE and NBCUniversal announced a five-year domestic media rights partnership that will bring Friday Night SmackDown back to USA Network beginning October 2024.
Additionally, beginning in the 2024/25 season, WWE will produce four primetime specials per year that will air on NBC, marking the first time WWE will air on the network in primetime.
“NBCUniversal has been a tremendous partner of WWE for decades,” said WWE President Nick Khan. “We are excited to extend this longstanding relationship by bringing SmackDown to USA Network on Friday nights and look forward to debuting multiple WWE special events annually on NBC.”
“It’s a privilege and thrill to continue NBCU’s decades-long partnership with WWE which has helped cement USA Network’s consistent position as the top-rated cable entertainment network in live viewership” said Frances Berwick, Chairman, NBCUniversal Entertainment. “With Friday nights on USA, primetime specials on NBC, and the WWE hub on Peacock, we’ll continue to use the power of our portfolio to super-serve this passionate fanbase.”
But the bad news is that USA Network is not intending to keep Monday Night Raw or NXT so WWE will be looking for a new home for those according to individuals close to the negotiating.
The news did not go down well with investors as TKO went down 11% at the start of the trading day.
Raw has been on USA Network for the majority of its existence apart from a few years on TNN and Spike. NXT has been on USA since September 2019.